Smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative to smoking. It can lead to nicotine addiction just like cigarettes.
In 2014, approximately 4.2% of adults in Indiana use smokeless tobacco products and 8% of high school students reported using smokeless tobacco. Smokeless tobacco includes chew, snuff, and snus.
Smokeless tobacco contains several cancer causing substances as well as other harmful chemicals. It can increase your risk for lip, cheek, and tongue cancers, as well as, other forms of cancer in the body. It also increases the risks of heart disease and stroke.
Smokeless tobacco can also lead to an increased risk for cavities, gum disease, & tooth loss. The gums pull away from the teeth and will not grow back. Over time the sugar in spit and chewing tobacco causes tooth decay in the exposed roots of teeth.
Leukoplakia is another side effect that sometimes occurs with smokeless tobacco use. Leukoplakia is the development of white patches in the mouth. These spots can turn into cancer.